Speaking at a seminar held at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Bohuslav “Bob” Frelich, director of U.S. operations for CzechInvest, announced that the Czech Republic’s corporate and personal income taxes will be lowered over the next several years.

CzechInvest is an investment and business development agency founded by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade to encourage foreign investment in the country. Mr. Frelich heads the organization’s efforts in the U.S. from his Chicago office.

According to Mr. Frelich, the Czech Republic has been revising its tax system over the past several years, in response to increasing investment interest from foreign companies.

“Right now, Czech Republic is in a spotlight because of the many new companies coming to the country to develop new business,” Mr. Frelich said.

He told GlobalAtlanta that the Czech personal income tax is undergoing a fundamental shift. “There will be one flat rate for everybody,” Mr. Frelich said, “from managers to workers to hockey players.”

The personal tax will drop from 15 percent in 2008 to 12.5 percent in 2009, providing a “big relief of the tax burden for living and earning in the Czech Republic,” he added.

The corporate income tax will fall from the current 24 percent to 21 percent next year and 19 percent by 2010.

The Czech Republic’s value-added tax, a tax based on the total profit value of a transaction, will be raised from 5 to 9 percent on essential goods and services such as food and health care.

According to Mr. Frelich, the new taxes will help to keep the Czech Republic’s budget deficit below the European Union’s requirement of 3 percent.

Business ties between the Czech Republic and Georgia have historically not been as strong as in other parts of the United States, “but that has changed substantially this year,” Mr. Frelich said.

“Most important was the introduction of a direct flight from Georgia to Prague,” he added, referring to Delta Air Lines Inc.’s opening of a direct route to the Czech capital in March.

Due to its status as a government agency, CzechInvest is able to provide companies interested in investing in the Czech Republic with information on the country’s legal system, business climate and possible partner companies free of charge.

Mr. Frelich arranges business trips to the Czech Republic to introduce American businesspeople to Czech officials, intellectuals and companies operating in the country almost every week, due to the great interest in investment opportunities.
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CzechInvest – Bob Frelich 312-254-0180